Whether you want to host your first webinar or are looking to improve upon previous efforts, there are five main areas which every marketer and presenter needs to cover. Unlike many signature content marketing techniques and practices, webinars are 100% guaranteed to reap results if you follow a step-by-step approach. Once you are confident that you can nail each of those steps, then you’re on your way to webinar professionalism!
What is a Webinar?
A webinar is a live broadcast, which focuses on delivering a lesson, presentation, or module to a group of participants. Viewers can access the presentation from anywhere in the world – all they need is a link.
Webinars are usually focused on one topic, presented by a main host, who often calls on colleagues or guest to elaborate on their points. This can turn the presentation into an educational discussion.
Webinars are a great way to showcase your thought leadership and subject matter expertise. Whether you are teaching people how to use your product, or explaining new developments in your field, viewers love to learn new skills online through live video content. Most broadcasting software allows you to record and save the presentation, too.
How to Run a Successful Webinar
Like anything in content marketing, some webinars are more successful than others. In this post, we’re sharing our top 5 tips for making sure yours is the best it can be!
1. Plan Ahead
This may go without saying, but it’s really important to give yourself enough time to prepare your presentation. Jotting down some ideas an hour before you go live might have cut it back in high school (or not), but your viewers will expect you to deliver subject-matter expertise and leadership when they sign up to your webinar, so make sure you provide this with a well-organised, well-structured presentation.
Script your content, or structure it into categories, allocating certain blocks of time to different topic areas. Create a Powerpoint presentation outlining the format of the presentation, including all the content in it. (And make sure the content is as perfect as the delivery plan!)
2. Choose a Good Webinar System
Having the right software is of course vital for a successful webinar. There are plenty of programs, both free and subscription-based, which can all make or break the user experience. Do your research, and choose the program which best suits your needs.
Here are our favorites:
Webinarjam is both popular and sophisticated. It allows you to moderate comments from viewers during the presentation, use pop-up CTAs for attendees to click, include multiple presenters on the screen, and easily communicate with all participants.
Zoom is easy to use, with lots of features and functions to enhance the user experience. It offers a free plan, too, and can integrate with your CRM. Some useful functionality and features include muting and recording, and the ability to easily switch between participant views.
If you want more than just webinar functionality, then GoToMeeting (by LogMeIn) does exactly what it says on the tin. This program allows you to host meetings, conferences and more, which spans the gamut of live video streaming. Of course this makes it perfect for webinars, too.
- Google Hangouts: The list wouldn’t be complete without a recommendation for good old Google Hangouts. Simple, yet reliable and easy to use, Google Hangouts is ideal for intimate and straightforward webinar needs, and gets the job done every time. It’s completely free, too, and has an element of familiarity for most online users.
Whatever program you choose, just make sure you’re up to date on how to use it! The last thing you want to deal with during your presentation is technical problems.
3. Vary your content
Keep your audience fully engaged throughout the webinar by varying your content. Use your voice to support other materials, such as presentation slides, images, infographics, quotes, and maybe even some video clips. Involving guest speakers is a great idea, and don’t forget to finish the session with a Q&A session to get your audience involved. The recommended length of a webinar is 45 minutes.
4. Be Confident
Your level of confidence will be instantly obvious to your attendees, and they will be much more likely to pay attention if they feel that you are confidently leading the topic. So, make sure to communicate this, by speaking clearly and consistently. This is where advance preparation will help you really shine!
5. Promote your Webinar
Promote your webinar the same way you would promote your product, service, or business. See it as a brand-building exercise. Send out notifications via your email newsletter, post about it on social media, tell your friends, create some digital promotion graphics and sponsored posts targeting your ideal audience – and make sure you track all new sign-ups so you can follow up with reminders and teasers!
Now that you have a clear idea of what you need to do to succeed as a webinar pro, it’s time to get started on the fun stuff – creating your presentation material! Good luck, and don’t forget to relax and enjoy the process.
(Psst.. want help scripting your presentation? We’re here to help!)